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Four things you need to ask about your corporate digital responsibility plan

Published 12 October 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Corporate digital responsibility (CDR) is a set of practices and behaviors that help an organization use data and digital technologies in a way that is socially, economically, technically, and environmentally responsible. You need to have a CDR plan, either as part of or separate from your overall sustainability strategy. To evaluate where your company is currently at in terms of CDR, you should consider four issues: maturity, governance, processes, and culture. Ask yourself these questions:

What is the CDR maturity level in your company?

How advanced are you on digitally responsible practices? Have you assessed or benchmarked your organization?

How do you approach the governance of CDR?

Do you have a chief ethics officer or an ethics board or council? Cross-functional collaboration within your organization is necessary for the success of these initiatives.

How embedded are digital ethics in the way you do things?

Do you have processes in place to evaluate the ethical implications of digital tools or projects? Are digitally responsible practices baked into your organizational processes?

Are responsible digital practices embedded in your company culture?

Are digital issues such as privacy, cybersecurity, and digital diversity linked mostly to compliance, risk mitigation, or cost minimization? These link to purpose within a company – when people believe in the importance of the ethical implications of data use, things move more smoothly and people contribute more significantly.

This field of ethics is going to continue to grow, and it will be important for companies to take it seriously, not just because of doing the right thing, but because it will affect the bottom line. There has been a global shift with a significant drop in customer trust specifically towards digital companies. So, these concepts will become progressively more important when it comes to winning customers.

Further reading: 

Corporate Responsibility in the Digital Era by Michael Wade

Authors

Oyku Isik IMD

Öykü Işık

Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD

Öykü is Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD. Her research focuses on digital resilience and the ways in which disruptive technologies challenge our society and organizations.

Michael Wade - IMD Professor

Michael R. Wade

Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD

Michael holds the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation, he is the Director of the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. and he is Co-Director of the Leading Digital Business Transformation program. His areas of expertise relate to strategy, innovation, and digital transformation. He obtained Honours BA, MBA and PhD degrees from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada. Previously, he was the Academic Director of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Program. Michael has been nominated for teaching awards in the MBA, International MBA, and Executive MBA programs.

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